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Pete Carroll clarifies Bruce Irvin's comments on wanting to leave for Atlanta

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll spoke to reporters in Los Angeles prior to his induction into USC's Hall of Fame on Saturday, and said that Bruce Irvin's comments from last week that he wants to be in Atlanta in 2016 were misconstrued by the media.

"I'm really glad you asked me that, because he didn't say that," Carroll said. "We've been talking all along. He has been working out in Atlanta for these three weeks, and he said (that) in response to the question 'Do you want to come back home?'

"He said everybody likes to come back home, and it's a dream to come back home. It wasn't in reference to leaving us and coming back (to the Falcons). He was really adamant about it, and I asked him to leave it and not go at it anymore."

So, it sounds like, if you're buying Carroll's side of the story based on his apparent conversations with Irvin, is that Bruce was indeed just getting caught up in the playoffs atmosphere, the nostalgia of his hometown and said some things that added some fuel to the fire of rumors that already existed connecting Irvin to Atlanta.

Per that report last week, Irvin had told BSO's Samuel Logan that "I'm going to be in Atlanta next season. I'm ready." And, when asked if Irvin would consider Seattle if they offered him a big contract extension, Irvin replied "Atlanta is where I want to be. Believe that."

"Anybody can put those messages out, and they have a life to them," Carroll added. "Our guys are getting better at understanding that, and Bruce has learned again from this lesson."

Regardless, Irvin is under contract for 2015 and even if he did say those things, it sounds like he talked to Carroll to clarify his feelings. Irvin had just learned that the Seahawks wouldn't be picking up his 2016 fifth-year option so there could have been some reactionary bitterness there. The Seahawks have publicly said, though, that they'd like to get a longer-term deal done with the linebacker-slash-pass rusher, and Irvin may yet end up in Seattle long term.